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Chris Harrison Won’t Return as Host for ‘The Bachelorette’

Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will step in for the upcoming season

Former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will step in for Chris Harrison as co-hosts of the upcoming season of “The Bachelorette,” ABC and Warner Horizon said in a joint statement on Friday.

“Chris Harrison will not be hosting the next season of ‘The Bachelorette,'” the studio and network said. “We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing. In his absence, former Bachelorettes Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will support the new Bachelorette through next season. As we continue the dialogue around achieving greater equity and inclusion within ‘The Bachelor’ franchise, we are dedicated to improving the BIPOC representation of our crew, including among the executive producer ranks. These are important steps in effecting fundamental change so that our franchise is a celebration of love that is reflective of our world.”

The announcement comes as Harrison’s future as the face of the “Bachelor” franchise remains the subject of much speculation. The host temporarily stepped aside from the program last month after fans called into question the show’s handling of race and criticized Harrison for an interview with former “Bachelorette” star Rachel Lindsay in which he appeared to defend a contestant’s racist actions. Emmanuel Acho was later tapped to replace him for the upcoming live “Bachelor” season finale and “After the Final Rose” special.

Harrison has apologized for the interview, saying he is “dedicated to getting educated on a more profound and productive level than ever before.”

“I also apologize to my friend Rachel Lindsay for not listening to her better on a topic she has a first-hand understanding of, and humbly thank the members of Bachelor Nation who have reached out to me to hold me accountable. I promise to do better,” he said.

Whether or not Harrison will return to the franchise down the road remains unclear, but Harrison has expressed a desire to return. “I plan to be back, and I want to be back,” he said in a recent interview on “Good Morning America.” “This interview is not the finish line. There is much more work to be done and I’m excited to be a part of that change.”